There is no place in online communities for automated messages. Not welcomes, upcoming events or weekly reminders. They’re insincere, lack meaning and do more harm than good. Do you want members to think they’re dealing with robots?
I don’t want 11 (seriously, 11!) e-mails at 12.01am on my birthday wishing me a happy birthday from various online communities. I want messages from Sebastian, Aidan, and other friends I’ve met in various online communities to wish me a happy birthday.
This means something. They made an effort. I’m more likely to spend my time in communities where members have personally wished me a happy birthday.
Automated welcomes, birthday greetings, reminders have far less impact than personal welcomes, birthday greetings and reminders. They do more harm than good.
Don’t automate a message because it’s easier, personalize it because it’s better.